Houseplants forum: Working in Houston for a month.. started an office garden. Would like advice.

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Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 18, 2015 10:06 AM CST
Hi,

I've been scouring the internet on plant related things for a few days as I've become obsessed with 'indoor gardening' as a way to relieve my boredom. I'm working for a month in Houston, TX. I live in Ogden, UT.

Anyway, I have collected 12 plants and 3 cacti. I attached a photo of the plants. The cacti are sitting in a West facing windowsill.

I know all the info is online, but I'm starting to get a bit overwhelmed by all that is out there. I was hoping I could get some quick advice to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong. In the meantime, I can figure details out. This is an awesome site!

Grow List:
- Philodendron Erubescens 'Pink Princess' / Blushing Philodendron
- Dyckia 'Grape Jelly'
- Aloe Vera
- Sedum rubrotinctum 'Pork and Beans' (great name)
- Echeveria 'Perle Von Nurnberg'
- Pedilanthus tithymaloides 'variegatus' / Red Bird Plant
- Agave Potatorum
- Peperomia Obtsuifolia 'Tricolor' / Baby Rubber Plant
- Bromeliad Neoregelia
- 3 Unknown Succulents

Questions:

1) I have two lights set for about 9 hrs each day. One is a 'cool' spectrum light (LED), the other is a 'plant' light (Agro-Lite BR30 / incandescent). It looks more reddish, so I'm going to say it is on the 'warmer' side of the spectrum. Would you change anything?

2) The office is about 68 F. Should I add a heat lamp on a timer?

3) -

4) I ordered a Drosera Spatulata (Carnivorous). I'm going to put it in a terrarium. I bought the soil from the seller and will use distilled water. Additional thoughts?

5) Small flies are starting to appear. I think they came inside with the decaying plant matter in the soils. Anyway, is there a safe way to control these guys?

6) Any additional thoughts?

Thanks! You guys are the best.

Andy W


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Reason for edit: added question 5 and fixed bulb type.
[Last edited by engineer1984 - May 18, 2015 2:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
May 18, 2015 10:25 AM CST
I think that unknown plant is some sort of bromeliad. The lighting depends on how many lumens those lamps produce. If the incandescent lamp heats up, that will add some heat to the area but don't have it so close to plants that the heat would burn the leaves. Insecticidal soap is safe and should control those insects. They may not be flies though.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 18, 2015 11:49 AM CST
Welcome Andy!

Your plants look great and I'm not sure you need a heat lamp, the temperature of 68ยบ should be fine. The lights should be fine too but I agree with Ken that you don't want the plants to be too close to the lights or you will end up with leaf burn. I grow Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens 'Pink Princess') and mine stays on a screened porch (eastern location) where they get bright light but no direct sun. I did grow it indoors for a couple of years in fairly low light and it did great in the lower light situation too. I think the unknown plant is a Bromeliad also, possibly a Neoregelia.

The flies you are seeing could possibly be fungus gnats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungus_gnat
which sometimes occur when the soil is too moist. You can read a couple of articles here that our members have posted about controlling fungus gnats: http://garden.org/search/index.php?q=Fungus+Gnats&button= I use insecticidal soap (which works for a few different plant pests) that I purchase at Home Depot.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 18, 2015 12:26 PM CST
Thanks a lot!

The incandescent is about 1.5 ft away from any leaves.

There are small ant looking things and tiny winged dudes hanging around (especially on the Dyckia).

I just picked up 3 more succelents and 1 cactus. Check out this place in Houston: https://thecactusking.com/. The place is ridiculous!

I'm posting my unknowns in the Plant ID forum. I think the 'predator' version of the Bromeliad Neoregelia is mine?

Here is the updated pic:




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[Last edited by engineer1984 - May 18, 2015 12:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 18, 2015 12:47 PM CST
Hi & welcome! Sounds like you're having a blast, & good looking collection.

Your Philodendron looks like it's getting sunburn on its' leaves. It needs waaaaaay less light than the other plants in the pic. The color of the leaves should be an even, medium-to-dark green, with random splotches of pink, with no tan/orange/brown on the edges.

I'd move the Sedum to the windowsill with the cacti. Part of the species name was missing in your post above, it's S. rubrotinctum (which translates to tinted red.) Yours should become reddish with more light.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 18, 2015 12:59 PM CST
Purple,

Thanks for the info!

I moved the light direction away from the plant. Here is a shot of the top of the leaves (before I moved the light).


Thumb of 2015-05-18/engineer1984/34914c

Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 18, 2015 3:13 PM CST
Is there a type of plant you recommend that I could use to block the light and give this Philodendron some shade?

I guess I can re-organize. Looks really cool this way though.

Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 18, 2015 3:42 PM CST
Your 'Pink Princess' looks really good!

Here's what Pork and Beans will look like with more direct sun:
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
May 18, 2015 6:52 PM CST
great photos guys.

I genurally spray down rubbing achoal mixed with water to control the gnats/ its what we do at work. and it works.


I think the more time the plants spend outside the better/ noting can replace natural light. Hurray!
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 19, 2015 10:35 AM CST
Updated Grow List (Desk):
- Philodendron Erubescens 'Pink Princess' / Blushing Philodendron
- Dyckia 'Grape Jelly'
- Aloe Vera
- Echeveria 'Perle Von Nurnberg'
- Pedilanthus tithymaloides 'variegatus' (Red Bird Plant)
- Agave Potatorum
- Peperomia Obtsuifolia 'Tricolor' (Baby Rubber Plant)
- Bromeliad Neoregelia
- Sanseviera Gracilis
- Haworthia Resendeana
- Haworthia Unknown
- Dryopteris Erythrosora (Autumn Fern)
- Caladium 'Florida Sunrise'
- Marantaceae Stromonthe Sanguinea 'Tricolor' (Tricolor Ginger)
- Marginata Colorama

I'm assuming my Florida Sunrise is getting too much light...

Enjoy!

Thumb of 2015-05-19/engineer1984/a5b495

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 19, 2015 10:47 AM CST
Andy, tell us what you grow when you are back home.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 19, 2015 10:55 AM CST
Haha, nothing. : )

I have to drive a U-haul back up to Utah because I have things in a storage unit down here. I lived here for a couple of years. I plan on taking most of these with me.

I just sort of started looking into plants and decided it gave me something to think about, learn about and do while I was down here in a hotel room...

Maybe the next step is to pot these so that they aren't in such small containers?



Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
May 19, 2015 11:08 AM CST
That would be a good idea look on the bottom and see if roots are growing out of the contains if they are then seperate the root ball from the pot if its a mass of roots it needs repotting.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 19, 2015 7:01 PM CST
I would sit your Drosera spathulata in a low bowl with distilled water. That should be okay, then you can put it in the middle of your collection so the leaves can attract those flying insects. Your carnivore will love it.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
May 19, 2015 7:05 PM CST
plantladylin said:Your 'Pink Princess' looks really good!

Here's what Pork and Beans will look like with more direct sun:


Sedum rubrotinctum goes reddish as in the photo when it is in cool temps and sunny. It goes all green when temps go warm. It will grow taller as it tries to get more sun, so if you can place it in the brightest spot, it would help it a lot.
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 19, 2015 9:25 PM CST
Thanks for all the advice!

Looking forward to seeing this guy in action tomorrow.


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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
May 20, 2015 7:52 AM CST
Cool hope it does its job.
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 20, 2015 8:39 AM CST
She sits and waits..


Thumb of 2015-05-20/engineer1984/e7a4c0

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
May 20, 2015 9:04 AM CST
Looks good Andy! Just monitor the water, never get it dry. Smiling
Name: Andy W
Ogden, UT (Zone 6a)
engineer1984
May 20, 2015 9:09 AM CST
Will do, thanks!

1) Here's a shot of one of the Haworthia... it looks like it is getting sick (The short part that has the offshoot growing out of it)? Maybe I'm more observant now than when I bought it. I water once a day (soil is dry to the touch). Too little water, too much, this is what they look like normally?

2) The flies seem to have disappeared (bad timing). Maybe this has to do with my watering?

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[Last edited by engineer1984 - May 20, 2015 9:14 AM (+)]
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